For this easy Mexican baked tilapia recipe—a twist on huachinango a la Veracruzana, Veracruz-style red snapper—fish fillets combine with yellow onion, red bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, tomatoes, green olives, capers, and cilantro.

What to buy: Tilapia is a fish that’s affordable and readily available, but check to make sure the fillets you buy are from a source that practices sustainable aquaculture. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for recommendations.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 mins 
  • Active: 20 mins 

Ingredients (13)

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 limes
  • 1½ pounds tilapia fillets, about 4 to 6 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Put the fish fillets in a baking dish just large enough to hold them slightly overlapping. Sason the fish fillets with salt, then drizzle with the juice of 1/2 lime. Set aside while you make the sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a frying pan, warm the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until golden and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer until they soften, about 10 minutes. Add the olives and capers, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Stir in the juice of ½ lime.
  3. Pour the sauce over the fillets, covering them evenly, and cover the dish with foil. Bake until just cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Scatter with the cilantro and serve with wedges of the remaining lime.